Gender and ethnic representation statistics in classical music

Posted on: January 7, 2015

In Wednesday’s (1/7/15) Guardian (London), Tom Service discusses the British-based Bachtrack’s annual survey of professional classical music: “Even though things have improved in a small way since 2013—when there was only one single female conductor in the top 100 busiest maestros (this year there are four times as many, but four out of 100 is hardly breaking new ground for gender equality); and if in 2013 there were no women at all in the top 150 most performed composers, at least this year Sofia Gubaidulina claws her way to no. 132 in the list)—it’s clear that the institutions of classical music, above all the orchestras and opera houses, are moving at a collectively glacial pace when it comes to equal gender representation.… Further evidence … comes thanks to the work of Christina Scharff at King’s College London … to quote her team’s findings, ‘of the over 40 [British] orchestras we surveyed, women only make up 1.4% of conductors and 2.9% of artistic/musical directors’, while of 629 orchestral players, ‘only 11 (1.7%) could be identified to be from a Black and Minority Ethnic background.’ … But it’s precisely through facing these uncomfortable facts that a broader solution might be found by classical music as a whole.”

Posted January 7, 2015